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Political instability and its effects on Tourism
AbstractAccording to Poirier (2000) tourism todayis second only to oil as the world’s leadingexport commodity, accounting for globalearnings of more than $300 billion, ornearly 25 per cent of total world GNP. Overthe last two decades, tourism has provedto be the world’s fastest growingeconomic sector, with average growth of7.1 per cent per year in arrivals and 12.5per cent in receipts. Despite thesestatistics, tourism growth in manycountries has not been this high, inparticular those countries confronted withvarious political instabilities that havecaused to retard development in tourism.
This paper will examine• How tourism can be used as a tool for political and ideological goals.• How tourism reform occurs in industries within politically troubled nations.• How tourism can be moulded by the political purpose.
Introduction – Political stability and political relations influences the image of destinations in tourist-generating regions (Hall and O’Sullivan,1996) – Media portrayal: books, magazines, newspapers, satellite and cable links has a substantial influence. – Examples of political strife that cause problematic concerns in the attraction of visitors are: • Warfare • coups • political strikes or protests“Any evidence of domestic turmoil is likely to result in a decision not to visit that country. “ Ankomah and Crompton (1990, p19)
What is Political Instability?• “Political instability is described as a condition of a country where a government has been toppled, or is controlled by factions following a coup, or where basic functional pre-requisites for social-order control and maintenance are unstable and periodically disrupted” (Cook 1990).• Multifaceted and complex character• Impact in various countries worldwide is multilevel and multidimensional.
Relationship between politics and tourism• “The political aspects of tourism are interwoven with its economic consequences…tourism is not only a “continuation of politics” but an integral part of the world’s political economy. In short, tourism is, or can be, a tool used not only for economic but for political means” (Edgell, 1990).
The Reasons Behind the NeglectUnwillingness on the part of many decision makers both in government and in the private sector to acknowledge the political nature of tourism.- Lack of official interest in conducting research into the politics of tourism.- Tourism not regarded as a serious scholarly subject. -“ Tourism is by now too important and a pervasive activity for governments to ignore.” (Hughes 1984).
Has tourism been affected by political instability? Effects of Political violenceChina - Tiananmen Square, June 4 1989• Prime time news coverage showed army tanks threatening the civilian population.• After the the Tianamen Square incident Hotel occupancy rates in Beijing dipped below 30 per cent.• Tourism earnings declined by $430 million in 1989 alone.
Effects of Military CoupsFiji - 1987: As a result of a mainly non- Fijian government being elected.• Two military coups occurred within four months.• Qantas imposed a two-month ban on flights to Fiji, following the hijacking attempt of an Air New Zealand Boeing 747.• Travel Insurance cover was withdrawn after negative Australian government travel advice.
Effects of Revolutions• Ejtrcito Zapatista de Liberacion National (EZLN) initiated an armed rebellion against the Mexican government.• The revolution resulted in 145 to 500 deaths (figures vary depending on the source).• 1994 visitation to Mexico dropped by 70 per cent.
Effects of Civil WarYugoslavia – 1991, Army attacks Slovenia•Conflict continued for 10 days before moving toCroatia in 1991, and Bosnia-Herzegovina in1992•Tour operators for Yugoslavia lost over one millionbookings in 1991•Two years after the war, figures for Sloveniantourism are still far behind pre-war figures.
Effects of Civil War Sub Saharan Africa •Zimbabwe (formerly southern Rhodesia) was the scene of a fifteenyears Liberation War of Attrition between Africans and whitesettlers.The most extensive of Sub-Saharan colonial wars was fought inAngola,Mozambique and Guinea Bissau . Nigeria had five successful coupssince gaining independence in the 1960’•In total, more than 20 major wars have taken place on the sub-Saharan region of Africa since the 1960s (Ankomah and Crompton1990, p19).
Effects of Civil War• IPRA targets included senior British government officials, British military and police• Visitor arrivals fell from a 1967 peak of 1,080,000 to 321,000 in 1976• Ceasefire which began on August 31 1994 was observed until February 9 1996 when a bomb exploded in London killing two bystanders and injuring 43 people• 18-month cease-fire recorded a 59 per cent increase (from previous year) in inquiries, 11 per cent increase in hotel occupancy, 18 per cent increase with out-of-state visitors, and a 68 per cent increase in holiday visitors.
Effects of Terrorism Turkey – 1974, PKK Seeks to Establish Southeastern Marxist State •Kurdistan Worker’s Party specifically targetedTurkey’s tourism industry between 1991 and 1996. •Bombed tourist sites, hotels and kidnapped foreign tourists. •Foreign visitor arrivals dropped eight per cent from 1992-1993•After self-imposed ceasefire, international arrivals reached record levels (9.5 million) in 1996.
Effects of Terrorism Peru –Formation of Maoist Terrorist Group •Aim of replacing existing Peruvian institutions with a peasant revolutionary regime. •Attacks led to a steep decline in tourism from 350,000 international visitors in 1989 to 33,000 in 1991.
Effects of TerrorismEgypt – Late 1970s, Islamic Extremist Group Activity •Egyptian Islamic extremist group works toward establishing an Islamic state•Specifically targeted and launched attacks against Egypt’s tourism industry since 1992.•Egypt removed from programs of international tour operators •Experienced a 22 per cent drop in internationalvisitors, 30 per cent drop in tourist nights and 43 per cent decrease in tourism receipts.
Effects of Terrorism The First Gulf War, 1990 Massive impact on tourist visitation to the Middle EastBroader impact on international tourismbecause of potential for terrorist attacks
Effects of Political Instability North and South Korea Shooting down of South Korean civilian airliner in 1980. •South Korean student protests.Ongoing political instability in North and South Korea. Summer Olympics (1988) was used to refute the idea of Korea as a “dangerous place to visit”.
Tourism as a Political Objective : Arab and Israeli ideology •So far, Tourism has been passively affected by political events •The direct involvement of tourism in the battle of political ideology •The ongoing conflict Israel v Palestine•Not only economical and street conflict, but political competition (Kobi, 2004) •Israel = promotion of own image throughtourism, stimulate Zionist view of Palestine•Palestine = Promotion of a distinctly Arab- oriented image of Israel
Tourism as Political Tool•Promotional vehicle to convey a positive image or as a sanction against others.•Massive tourism program after election of Marcos in Philippines. •Use of tourist arrivals as a form of legitimisation for the regime. •Manipulating tourism development to benefit Marcos’ supporters
Tourism for Political Objectives the backlash •Bombing attempt on Marcos at 1980 American Society of Travel Agents Conference.•Bombing attempt resulted in a dramaticreduction in tourist visitation from the USA.•Misuse of tourist infrastructure caused spill-over effects such as enormous inflation,housing shortages, energy and watershortages, and mass prostitution.
THE INFLUENCE OF GOVERNMENT TRAVEL ADVISORIES• Western governments issue regular traveladvisories for their citizens warning them of risks intravelling to certain destinations.•Governments can and do exert political pressurethrough tourism and use it as a promotional vehicleto convey a positive image or as a sanction againstunfriendly countries.•The tourist may take into account the perceived riskof travelling to destinations that receive governmentwarnings, and therefore choose not to travel or mayalter the travel destination..
Summary• Political instability and war can increase theperception of risk at a destinationPolitical instability generates negativepublicity, which results in an inevitabledecrease in tourist arrivals• Risk perception can influence touristdecision-making and destinations can beseverely affected.• Policymakers from tourism destinationcountries need to be aware of how politicalinstability is perceived
ConclusionDespite the considerable body of evidence on theeffects of political instability on both tourism incomeand potential for negative social and culturaloutcomes, tourism management courses do notinclude any serious discussion of internationalpolitics and its influence on tourism. This paper,which is part of an ongoing research into riskmanagement in tourism, attempts to address that bydiscussing the ways in which the political nature oftourism can be incorporated into tourismmanagement subjects, particularly at postgraduatelevel.